30 Clever paint chip crafts
2. Greeting card
Turn a simple paint chip into a clever card for any holiday. This card was made for Father’s Day and Jamie incorporates the paint color names into the message.
3. Paint chip wreath
You can do this with any shade of paint chip for any holiday. This green paint chip and recycled styrofoam wreath from Mitagehome is perfect for St. Patrick’s day1
Melisa from So Festive turned a multi shade paint chip in adorable popsicle invitations for a summer soiree!
Mosaic a table with paint chips!
6. Paint chip mobile
Kristy used an embroidery hoop and paint chips to create an adorable mobile.
7. Seating chart cards
Use a single paint chip as a whimsical way to organize seating arrangements at an event.
Turn a white square tile and a paint chip into colorful coasters with this tutorial from 645 Workshop.
Melissa from Mama Miss used paint chips and a laminator to make these adorable bookmarks.
Paint chip gift crafts
Paint chips always make great gift tags!
10. Gift tags
Turn a pint chip into a cute gift tag with letter stamps! Find the details at Type A Decorating.
11. Gift tags
A Spoonful of Sugar used a Christmas tree out to add a festive flair to her gift tags.
12. Origami box
Turn a paint chip into a gift card or business card holder with a few simple folds. See the full tutorial at Design Verb.
Paint Chip Art
There are so many intersting things you can do with paint chips to create one of kind art for a blank wall. Frame them, collage them, cut them into shapes, the ideas of endless!
13. Intersecting circles
Tristan and Company turned paint chips, mod podge and a blank canvas into this masterpeice with a simple cut out.
14. Collect and frame
16. Flag art
Kids will love using glue to make a collage of any a flag, shoe, beach scene or whatever their little heart desires!
17. Modern art
Kristy cut up paint chips and made her on colorful collage to frame. It turned out great!
18. Scalloped art
Chris created this scalloped art with a circle hole punch and glue. Find the whole tutorial at Tatertots and Jello.
19. Typography art
A Beautiful Mess used paint chips and white vinyl to create this bold and colorful peice of art.
20. Pixelated art
Nite used paint chips, patience, and photoshop to create this gorgeous pixelated art oringially shared on Apartment Therapy.
21. Paint chip feature wall
Display a collection of paint chips on a single wall for a really unique look.
22. Hexagon wall art
Use a hexagon punch and glue to create a one of kind piece of art. Find the tutorial on A Charming Project.
23. Canvas makeover
Mallory up cycled a canvas she already owned with 2 inch paint chips for a fun, colorful look.
24. Mixed media
Claire used the actual paint chip as a blank canvas and added words, pictures, and drawing to the blank canvas.
25. Antiqued wall art
Jennifer used an art peice from a catalog as her inspiration to create an antiqued mosaic using paint chips. Her secret? Rub stain over the entire peice after the glue dries!
26. Elephant trunks
Hazel also created a “Strange Bird” and a “Crocodile Smile”.
Paint chip garland
Make a garland for any event or holiday with paint chips!
27. Halloween garland
Jamie sewed paint chips together to make a simple Halloween garland.
28. Christmas light garland
Cut any shape out of paint chips and string together with bakers twine for a festive garland. See more garland ideas from A Girl and a Glue Gun.
Paint chip clocks
29. Paint chip clock
30. Ikea clock makeover
Turn a plain clock into a colorful masterpiece with paint chips! Find the full tutorial at Kojo Designs.
Have you ever made a paint chip craft? I’d love to know…
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Comments & Reviews
It’s not stealing if you ask the owner/store manager for the colors you need/want. 9 times out of 10 they will tell the rep what colors you need and call you when the “new batch” comes in so that their stock is not emptied and customers buying paint still have the option of choosing that color. This way both parties win! I can make my crafts without emptying the racks. Also if their is a color that is discontinued, the managers I’ve spoken with would rather see people like us “crafters” using them to make things rather than them just throwing them away!!!!!!!! I for one feel more comfortable taking the discontinued colors that the store has no use for anymore than a brand new color!!
When folding paint chips the paint cracks how do I prevent this?
MS GEORGIA BROWNE says
Fold on the white lines – not the colored patches.
I upcycled some paint samples into homemade dry erase calendars for my sisters and cousin for Christmas. I’m really excited to gift these to them!
I LOVE these!!! I pinned so many of them, it’s going to be a crafty next few months….
Hope Studios says
Despite the controversy, I’d like to thank you for mentioning my mosaic project. Lots of great ideas in this collection – I’m inspired!
I always go to hardware stores to look for paint colours since I paint a lot of things, but I can never decide on the colours so I end up taking tons of these home with me (last time I returned home with at least 40 different samples to decide). How is it more “legitimate” when there’s actually painting to be done, vs when someone wants to craft something? If you feel it’s bad to ‘steal’ them then don’t do the projects, simple as that. I will continue to take tons for my small projects, and you can continue to only take one for your living room walls, so that the world balances out. And then I will (guilt free) go on to use my left overs for projects that look awesome. And yes, go to the store to get more (without a paint project!) when I need them.
I totally agree, J.
Besides, the paint companies print literally billions of paint chips every time a new colour range is introduced. They deliberately overestimate how many will be needed because they want to avoid any shortfall – that would cost them sales. When they are no longer needed, disposing of them costs money (recycling/landfill) so the more we take, the better it is all round.
My local independent hardware shop was recently selling off discontinued paint tester pots for €1 each. The owner was delighted when I bought a whole load of them because he said it would cost him money to dispose of any that he couldn’t sell. It’s not exactly the same situation, but it does illustrate the fact that when something is unusable or unsaleable, disposing of it costs money.
I like the projects and I love that people are using actual leftover paint chips. Art from recycled materials is my favorite kind!
But when people stroll into a hardware store and just take handfuls with no intention of buying paint, it’s flat out stealing. If you are going to do it, at least stand up and be honest about what it is. I’m sorry to see people so cavalier about this. Art is not supposed to be about dishonesty and rationalization.
The good news is that paint chips are actually pretty easy to get legitimately. Here’s how: just ask. Ask if they have any discontinued lines. Ask if they have slightly damaged chips. Keep an eye out for store closings – sad but good for bargains. Case in point: my husband went to an auction at a hardware store that was closing. He paid $25 for an entire paint chip display. (Score.)
It’s not stealing if they’re free. It’s using them for a purpose other than the one for which they were designed, there’s nothing wrong with that. Stealing is taking someone else’s property without permission, including goods that are for sale. Paint chips are not intended for sale, they are promotional material expressly intended to be taken.
Andrea Greaney says
They are free for people who want to get some sample color ideas for paint, not to take as many as you care to for a project. It’s like on Halloween when someone leaves a bowl on their porch with a sign that says “Take Two Pieces” and someone takes the whole bowl. That’s stealing IMO. I am wanting to use these paint cards in my classroom, but am trying to figure out how to get them without feeling like I’m “sneaking” to get some at each visit to a store that has them. Here are some quotes from paint companies.
Eric Stasiowski, Director of Communications at Akzo Nobel Paints LLC, AKA Glidden, says “Paint chips are an important element of the overall color and paint selection process. They can be expensive to produce, yet a critical tool, especially for nationally distributed brands like Glidden. You and your readers may be interested to know that a special printing process is utilized to produce them in order to ensure a perfect color match when mixed with paint. So, although we respect the creativity and talents of those who use color chips for purposes other than painting, it can compromise our programs at retail. Of course, if they inspire those who use them to paint a room, then it’s all worth it!”
A public relations representative for Sherwin Williams provided this response from the company: “One thing for crafters to consider is to talk with paint retail outlets directly as stores may have out-of-date paint chips that they’d be happy to provide. Another option might be for crafters to ask a retailer if they will order and sell them bulk quantities of paint chips. In short, if crafters explain the project and their need for paint chips, and work directly with the staff of a store that sells paint, they may find a solution to get the supplies they need.”
Penny Clemons says
I simply went into the local home improvement store and asked the employee in the paint department if I could have one or two of each color paint chip. I told her I was a crafter and a retired teacher and that I really liked using them in projects to use in my tutoring. She said, “Go for it.”. We chatted some more while I took the paint chips and I left with enough to do many, many, many projects and far less than I could have had, had I really taken one of each color that they had. Just asking first was far more productive than trying to “sneak” them while no one was looking.
Jamie D. says
Never hurts to ask 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
I’ve always asked if i could take some…NEVER have had anyone say not to..most are very interested in what I use them for and when they find out theyare used ina classroom, thet often scrounge up more for me. If you feel you are doing something dishonest, just ask…it will ease your mind.
Katie Kendrick says
What is wrong with you people? At the very worst, this is stealing. At the very least, this is totally tacky. Attention cheap-o’s: there’s a thing already for sell that can be used to make all of these lovely projects and more! It’s called CARD STOCK. I can see using the handful of them you ALREADY HAVE at home (from actual projects you’ve needed to paint and therefore select colors for…) But to just grab a big handful of them from a store – holy moly, some people have no shame. Kudos for the creativity, as some of these ideas are actually worthwhile, but the fact is that if enough people want to make GIANT wall art from “free” paint chips, I am going to have to PAY for mine the next time I’m re-painting my bedroom. It’s not thinking I’m soo “righteous,” it’s called common courtesy and consideration. Besides which, the names of the paint colors on the bottom corner of your business cards or gift tags looks dumb – and thats just the truth in terms of design sense. Even though the business featured on the paint chip business cards is for a “crafter,” I think that sends the wrong message – crafty does not have to = cheesy.
Cherise Porretto says
It’s just art, settle down.
Here’s an idea for you to try Katie… next time you go to the hardware store, ask the employees if you can pay for some paint chips.
They will say no. Because how do they ring them up? How much do they charge you? Paint chips are free. The paint manufacturers pay to produce and supply them. They want people to take them home for no charge. The store couldn’t charge you for them even if they wanted to. If you’re feeling sorry for the poor paint manufacturers (most of which are in fact huge multinationals owned by oil companies), don’t. They’re fine. They wouldn’t produce and give away paint chips if they were going broke doing it. I assure you that they consider it a legitimate and worthwhile business expense, just like advertising and customer service.
I think you’re being extremely rude, the projects featured here don’t look cheesy to me at all, and I’m extremely picky about crafted items. Claire Teschel and Secret Leaves particularly impressed me.
Part of the ethos of craft is finding alternative uses for ordinary items. This is how things like quilts and other folk art came into being. If you want to go to a shop and spend a bunch of money on making something, that’s up to you, but spending a whole load of money on pre-cut, pre-selected paper in colour palettes which have been chosen for you by someone else is no reason to get all self-righteous.
Please be courteous to other creators. If what they’ve created doesn’t fit your personal aesthetic, that’s perfectly fine, but it would be better to just keep that to yourself and praise the things that you do like. This is a place for people to share the joy of creating, not to pick stupid fights.
Hi. I really like some of your art ideas. I made Halloween Costumes using about 1500 paint sample cards. It was great fun. I hope the link to my photo works. Enjoy!
Sharon Kowalski says
I don’t see a link to a picture of the paint sample costumes. Can you send that link to me please? I’m trying to help my son with costume ideas.
Jamie D. says
Sharon, Here is the direct link to the tutorial: http://handmakemyday.com/2011/10/28/diy-paint-chip-halloween-costumes/
Here is round up post it came from: http://www.creatingreallyawesomefunthings.com/group-costume-ideas/
Sorry Jamie but had to comment on Jens comments.
Great collection of ideas!
I used some to make interchangeable phone cases: http://clinesdesigns.blogspot.com/2012/04/i-was-looking-for-cheap-way-to-cover-my.html
Jen A. says
Does anyone not think of this as stealing? The paint suppliers give those so people can take samples to their homes to choose and buy a paint color. That is like saying, hey, everytime I go by the carpet store I pick up a few samples and make a rug. Great ideas, but…..
Jamie D. says
It could be called stealing…! I get paint chips with the purpose of painting somehting… instead of tossing them in the trash after I finally decide on a color… i use them to make something! If I ever needed a lot of them for something I would just ask!
God whats a few paint cards. I have seen these all over the floors and thrown away from big stores. Dont tell me you only take one to paint your house? They would not put them there if they think they will be loosing money from thieves who just use there cards for other purposes. I get so angry from people who think they are so rightous. Sorry but i think you need to get a life rather than making these comments.
“A few paint cards”? Look at #8. Look at #14. The entire walls are covered with paint cards. The paint cards are put in stores as a courtesy to customers who plan to buy paint. Not to take home and decorate walls and make books out of. Perhaps YOU are the one who thinks of yourself as rightous (sic). Perhaps YOU, Val, should “get a life” rather than stealing out of your local hardware store.
LInda P says
I agree with Jane. I am so sick of seeing all these projects in schools and homes using paint chips. This makes the price of paint go up for all of us. The price of paint chips is part of the cost of marketing for paint companies and is passed down to consumers. Why don’t you buy the paint and paint some paper to make your own paint chips.
It’s just like taking free project ideas from Hobby Lobby or Joanns. It’s not stealing if they leave them out for free. Or you can ask the hardware store in question if they have a paint sample fan
which would be easier.
Wrong! @ Rachel,
It is NOT like taking hobby slips from Joann’s. Those are put out for you to take so you can buy the materials at Joann’s to make them. Paint chips are put out for people who are contemplating painting something and buying paint. These are NOT FREE CRAFT SUPPLIES.! Both the hobby slips and paint chips are put out to encourage people to MAKE purchases. Neither store exists to help you out with free supplies, they exist to make a profit, which, btw, is not an evil activity.
What really makes me mad is that SO MANY people either rationalize the theft or are so self-centered that they do not see that this is wrong!!!! ..and then call those with ETHICS “righteous” like it is a bad thing. Why do so many people in America seem to believe that the things they do DON”T affect others, and eventually themselves? Why do they think that they should “get” without working to earn “it? Rachel I’ll bet you park int eh handicapped spots if you are “just running in the store for a minute” too. You may be sick of “righteous” people. but I’m sick of dishonest, elitist, self-centered, inconsiderate, unthinking people like you. What saddens me more is that you might actually be raising children that will learn and continue your deplorable attitude and behavior.
I agree with Jen, it is a bit like stealing. As other people above me have stated, a good way to make this a bit less like stealing is to repurpose old paint chips and if you are just going to take some, make other purcahses. For instance, I got some from Home Depot yesturday while I was also buying a small fruit tree and hooks for hanging wall art, things I have needed for a while. I’m not saying that makes it perfect either, and you definitely shouldn’t go overboard and take more than 100 (I took about 35 for making small, cute notebooks for a birthday party). So be considerate while being crafty fellow creative people;)
Just ask the person in the paint department and they will most likely tell you to take what you want. As you know schools have a limited amount of resources and paint chips are one of them. Is it stealing if you ask for them?????
I don’t think so.
Hailey Wagar says
Wow! You made me smile with this. Thanks so much. I have so many ideas now.
Thank y'all for leaving links to other paint chips projects! I will do another round up at some point and will definetly add these ideas!
Shannah @ Just Us Four says
I love paint chips! I made some paint chip art for the 1st Pinterest Challenge which I still love.
Jenn @ One Thrifty Chick says
YES!! I created Color Me Happy photo albums for grandparents for Christmas this year!
Shasta @ intheoldroad says
I love, love, love paint chips! I recently made a paint chip color wheel: (http://intheoldroad.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-pinterest-challenge-day-7-paint-chip.html)
Reading your post makes me want to do more paint chip projects 🙂
Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree says
I have more ideas:
Allison Patrick says
I made these art pieces: http://the3rsblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/project-13-week-17-paint-chip-art/
Secret Leaves says
Yes! I did this with them:
Thanks for sharing these cool ideas.